Shenzhen airport expansion to be completed by June 2013

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Expansion works at Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport are scheduled to be completed by June 2013.

The airport's $2 billion expansion project, which began in 2009, includes the construction of a third terminal and a second runway.

The new terminal will have the capacity to handle 48 million passengers annually, more than double the two existing terminals' 17 million capacity. It will also have 68 aircraft parking bays and another 14 remote parking bays, says its deputy chief of the planning and design department Long Qi.

Also under construction is a 3,800m long and 60m wide new runway, which runs parallel to the existing 3,400m long runway. This runway will be able to handle aircraft such as the Airbus A380.

The new terminal will replace the two existing terminals, which would then be converted into exhibition or shopping halls, says Long.

"Where we are, we have Guangzhou in the north and Hong Kong in the south. So our airport's strategy is to focus on cargo operations and then to develop passenger movements," he adds. "We expect the passenger throughput to grow between 6% to 8% annually for the next 10 years."

The airport also has plans for a fourth terminal and a third runway to cater to the expected traffic growth. The fourth terminal will be a mirror of the third terminal.

Shenzhen Bao'an handled 28 million passengers in 2011, and is expecting the number to hit 30 million this year.